The Original Growler

The 2015 ORIGINAL GROWLER

Registration opens at 8pm MDT on Sunday November 30th, 2014.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER AT BIKEREG.COM

  • Saturday May 23, 2015, The Half-Growler, around 32-miles on the dirt* (limited to 350 riders)
  • Sunday May 24, 2015, The Full-Growler, around 64-miles on the dirt*
  • Sunday May 24, 2015, Sunday’s Half, around 32-miles on the dirt*
  • Sunday May 24, 2015, the first ever, Growler Forty – a Mountain Duathlon – bike, run, bike. Around 40 miles on the dirt* and limited to 50 participants. See below for details about the Growler Forty.

NOTE: Sunday’s races all start together at 7am sharp and the total field limit for the Full-Growler, Sunday’s Half and the Growler Forty is 350. 

*All races start and finish in downtown Gunnison so add around 5 miles of dead flat pavement to these totals.

 

  • Brought to you by Gunnison Trails and presented by Ergon and SRAM. The Original Growler is owned and operated by Gunnison Trails and is the primary fundraiser for this Colorado 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Gunnison Trails is dedicated to maintaining and expanding the single track experience in the Gunnison area including working toward building the Gunnison to Crested Butte trail. 100% of the proceeds from the Original Growler benefit Gunnison Trails.
  • The Original Growler is for experienced mountain bikers only and takes place in rugged, isolated backcountry terrain. While your safety is our priority and we have a robust EMS plan and experienced and trained personnel, responding to and evacuating an injured rider could be time consuming and difficult.  Riders must possess the skills and judgment necessary to assess difficult and challenging trails and roads and negotiate them in a safe manner. NO BEGINNERS, PLEASE! For comparison, the general character and difficulty of the trails and roads in the Original Growler is similar to those of the BLM Mack Ridge Trail System near Fruita, CO: Mary’s Loop, Lion’s Loop, Horsethief Loop, Steve’s Loop, etc. 

NEW! The Growler Forty – a Mountain Duathlon: One lap of the Growler course with a 7+ mile trail run thrown in the middle. Ride half of the Growler course, drop your bike, pull your running shoes out of your pack (self-support only!), run the epic and mostly singletrack Aberdeen Loop, get back on your bike and finish one lap of the Growler course. The Growler Forty is limited to 50 competitors and could close short of that once the daily field limit is reached. You are responsible for carrying your own shoes; no outside support allowed. There will be a neutral aid station around the half way point of the run.

REFUNDS: No refunds after April 30th, 2015. The Growler is all about raising money for trails so before registering, please be certain that, after April 30th, you are comfortable making your entry fee a donation to the trails of the Gunnison Valley in the event that you:

  • Forgot to train
  • Your aunt Edna decides to get remarried that weekend
  • You eat #$%& on your bike and get hurt
  • Cannot ride in the Growler that weekend for any other reason

**As Gunnison Trails is a 501c3, your entry fee will be 100% tax deductible in the event you cannot make it. Thanks for supporting trails!** Gunnison Trails does allow transfers for a $25 fee. Click HERE for transfer details.

2014 Photos & Results are here!

Growler Photos Growler Results

 

HOW DO I REGISTER?

Registration opens December 1, 2014

Each day of racing is capped at 350 riders.

The 2015 entry fee is $95 for the Half-Growler and $105 for the Full-Growler and Sunday’s Half and $125 for the Growler Forty. Also expect to pay a small fee to the good people at bikereg.com.

WHERE IS RACER CHECK-IN?

Racer Check-In is Friday May 22nd from 3pm to 9pm at Treads ‘n’ Threads, 113 N Main Street. Friday’s check-in is for all categories, both days. All participants must be present to sign a waiver. Sorry, no race day check-in.

Saturday May 23rd from 1pm to 9pm also at Treads ‘n’ Threads for all who will compete on Sunday. All participants must be present to sign a waiver. Sorry, no race day check-in.

The Original Growler is a BYOB Race: Bring Your Own Bag. We try to eliminate waste and clutter by not providing you with any spiffy disposable or reusable bags that nobody needs. Please bring your own, preferably filled with non-perishable food items for the Original Growler Food Drive. Last year we killed it with this and our local food bank was forever grateful for your generosity. NOTE: The food drive idea was blatantly lifted from our friends at Epic Rides in Arizona.

WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE FOR THE HALF AND FULL GROWLER AND THE GROWLER 40?

Click for the 2015 Growler Schedule

Saturday May 23, 2015 The Half-Growler, an epic single-lap race. *THE HALF-GROWLER BEGINS WITH A MASS START AT 9AM* Field limit is 350 starters. Entry fee is $95 and includes a ton of singletrack, well-stocked aid stations, a t-shirt or something else, post-race party in downtown Gunnison including a meal and beverages and finisher’s awards. HINT: Lots of locals prefer the Half-Growler because they know just how hard the Full-Growler is. Our most popular distance, the Half-Growler usually sells out quickly. Don’t procrastinate on this one.

Sunday May 24, 2015 The Full-Growler, two laps; Sunday’s Half, one lap; and the Growler Forty. *ALL THREE EVENTS BEGIN TOGETHER WITH A MASS START AT 7AM* Combined total field limit for Sunday is 350 starters. Entry fee is $105 for the Full and Sunday’s Half and $125 for the Growler Forty and includes double a ton of singletrack, well-stocked aid stations, a t-shirt or something else, post-race party including a meal and beverages and a finisher’s award.

Sunday’s Half: A one lap race within the Full-Growler on Sunday May 24th. We will track and post results, including time, for Sunday’s Half, but categories will only be Men and Women Open. Sunday’s Half might be right for you if you want to race the same day as your friend or significant other who is tackling the Full-Growler but you know that you’re more of a Half-Growler kind of rider; or, the Half Growler sold out before you got around to registering and you still want to experience the amazing trail riding of The Original Growler. Sunday’s Half finishers still get Half-Growler finisher’s award, party, meal, etc. There will be no individual or age group achievement awards or rankings for Sunday’s Half, however.

NEW! The Growler Forty – a Mountain Duathlon: One lap of the Growler course with a 7+ mile trail run thrown in the middle. Ride half of the Growler course, drop your bike, pull your running shoes out of your pack (self-support only!), run the epic and mostly singletrack Aberdeen Loop, get back on your bike and finish one lap of the Growler course. The Growler Forty is limited to 50 competitors and could close short of that once the daily field limit is reached. You are responsible for carrying your own shoes; no outside support allowed. There will be a neutral aid station around the half way point of the run.

HOW DIFFICULT ARE THE COURSES?

The Original Growler is for experienced mountain bikers only and takes place in rugged, isolated backcountry terrain. While your safety is our priority and we have a robust EMS plan and experienced and trained personnel, responding to and evacuating an injured rider could be time consuming and difficult. Riders must possess the skills and judgment necessary to assess difficult and challenging trails and roads and negotiate them in a safe manner. NO BEGINNERS, PLEASE! For comparison, the general character and difficulty of the trails and roads in the Original Growler is similar to those of the BLM Mack Ridge Trail System near Fruita, CO: Mary’s Loop, Lion’s Loop, Horsethief Loop, Steve’s Loop, etc.

The trail run for the Growler 4o takes place on the Aberdeen Loop and is mostly singletrack. Expect around 1,000 feet of elevation gain, amazing views and rocky, technical trail running. Maps and elevation profiles coming soon.

Each day of racing at the 2015 Original Growler is capped at 350 riders. We could easily start 500 or more but there’s a ton of singletrack out there, much of it either fast or technical. Too many riders on course at once is not conducive to quality racing and riding.

Both days of racing will start in downtown Gunnison by shotgun blasts. As per tradition, we will be flip-flopping the direction of travel on the course. Every trail is a completely different experience when ridden the other way! In year 2015 we’re going clockwise.

WHAT WERE LAST YEAR'S RESULTS?

The HALF-GROWLER – Usually, the winning time is plus or minus 3 hours. Take a look at the 2014  Half Growler results to see what went down and by whom. While it’s called a race, this is an exceptional course to ride for fun at any pace. NOTE: The 2014 Half-Growler was timed all the way back to Gunnison so the results reflect those additional paved miles.

The FULL-GROWLER – Bryan Dillon was last years winner in 5:11:38.  Click here for those results. Heard on the street: “But the Full-Growler is only 64 miles. I’ve done a bunch of hundies, how hard can it be?” Give it a try and find out, just bring your A-game. Once again, it’s called a race but plenty of riders take their time (maybe even take some pictures) and smell the sage and enjoy the challenging and ever-changing nature of the trails at Hartman Rocks.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE START, FINISH and PARKING?

The start is neutral behind law enforcement until you hit the dirt at Hartman Rocks. Neutral means you cannot pass the lead-out law enforcement vehicle. This law enforcement vehicle may drive slow or fast. HINT: the law enforcement vehicle usually goes pretty fast on Gold Basin road toward the dirt. The finish on the pavement is untimed but mandatory (see below for further details). Racing begins for real when you hit the dirt at the entrance to the Hartman Rocks base area. The course is about a 32-mile loop on your BLM public lands that brings riders back to the Hartman Rocks base area, where the timed finish/lap line is located.

Riding back to downtown Gunnison on the pavement is mandatory but untimed (see below for further details).

Again, we’re working on a timed race all the way back to a finish in downtown. If we cannot pull this off, what you read below is how it will go down.

The timed portion of your Growler is complete when you cross the timed finish/lap line on the dirt at the Hartman Rocks base area. Half-Growler (32-miles of dirt) racers finish after one lap; Full-Growler (64-miles of dirt) racers finish after two laps. Sunday’s Half and Growler Forty riders only ride one lap, just like the Half-Growler. Once you have crossed your finish line at Hartman Rocks and your time has been etched in stone, you are not finished! By rule, to complete the Original Growler, you must ride back to IOOF Park in downtown Gunnison and cross the symbolic finish line there. This is also where you’ll find real food, real drink, music, results and a pleasing, post-race atmosphere.

You have until about 5-6pm to cross this finish line in the park, so no need to rush. However, keep in mind that Half-Growler awards are around 3pm and Sunday’s awards will be around 5pm (top 3 in each category are called up to the Original Growler podium.) Once you cross the timed finish line at the Hartman Rocks base area, grab some food and drink, chill a bit in the hot sun and then ride back to the park at a careful, leisurely pace. If someone is too blown to ride back, we’ll help as needed. Most will be able to sufficiently recover to ride these final couple of flat miles back to town for some exotic fare and frosty beverages at the ongoing Growler Grub Soiree. If you know the area, ride back to the park any way you like. If you’re not familiar with the Gunnison area, a well-marked route will get you back to IOOF Park. You will encounter traffic, intersections, stop signs and two stoplights on the way back to the park. Please obey all traffic laws.

Remember, this is an untimed section of the race. Also, be careful as you enter the park for the crossing of the symbolic finish line as some sidewalk riding is possible and the area is sure to be busy with people, including non-cyclists and kids. We know untimed sections are unusual, but there are issues and concerns about parking and crowding at the Hartman Rocks base area, so this is the solution. Plus, it’s never a bad thing to stay out of our cars if we can, not to mention, it’s a great warm-up and cool-down.

IF YOU DNF IN ANY RACE, PLEASE DO NOT RIDE THROUGH THE FINISH. ALSO, PLEASE ALERT A COURSE VOLUNTEER OR RACE ORGANIZATION MEMBER MAKING SURE THEY GET YOUR BIB NUMBER. THANKS!

Both the Half and Full-Growler and the Growler Forty start and finish in downtown Gunnison at IOOF Park (AKA, race HQ) on the NE corner of Main and Virginia. That makes for about 5 miles of dead flat pavement, 2.5 at the beginning and 2.5 at the end. Total distances are about 40 miles for the Half-Growler, 69 miles for the Full-Growler and around 45 for the Growler Forty. The start on the pavement is neutral behind law enforcement and may be slow or fast. SEE ABOVE FOR A DESCRIPTION OF HOW THE GROWLER WILL FINISH.

Parking
Please, no parking on Main St. or in the first block off of Main St. These are two-hour parking spots and you will be ticketed and possibly towed. There’s plenty of street parking adjacent to the finish that’s just one block or more off of Main St. A great parking lot is two blocks west of the start across the street from the Post Office.

THE COURSE - SAY KIDS, DO YOU LIKE THE SINGLETRACK TRAILS?

The well-marked, clockwise course of around 30 miles contains loads of classic and challenging Gunnison singletrack – trails like Skull Pass, Top of the World, Rattlesnake, Ridge Trail and Joshos. You won’t be bored! The lap climbs around 4,000 vertical feet (but never more than a few hundred in one shot.) The Half-Growler and lap 1 of Sunday’s races use a slightly different starting configuration to spread the field out. Please study the map for details.

The trail run for the Growler 4o takes place on the Aberdeen Loop and is mostly singletrack. Expect around 1,000 feet of elevation gain, amazing views and rocky, technical trail running. Maps and elevation profiles coming soon.

PLEASE NOTE: Parts of the Original Growler course are closed until May 15th to protect the threatened Gunnison Sage-grouse. If you preride the course prior to May 15th, please honor and respect this seasonal closure for wildlife. Many thanks!

The Original Growler course contains difficult, technically demanding, and of course, potentially dangerous, singletrack trails, double-tracks and roads. Road and trail hazards are not marked. Riders must possess the judgment and experience necessary to evaluate the roads and trails of the Original Growler and determine the safest manner in which to negotiate them.

BLM Public Lands
All roads and trails used in the Original Growler are also open to the public and participants don’t have special preference out on the trail. Participants need to be prepared to encounter, yield to and be courteous to humans on foot, on horseback, on mountain bikes (not racing), on motorcycles, on ATV’s, in full-size vehicles, hovercraft, etc. Cattle may also be encountered while racing in the Original Growler. This is standard policy for events taking place on BLM public lands.

The Original Growler course is an isolated, backcountry route that includes numerous sections located in steep and rugged terrain where participants may be hours from medical attention and/or evacuation in the event of a serious mishap. Western State Colorado University Mountain Rescue Team provides emergency services for the Original Growler. The long-distance nature of the Growler races emphasizes the importance of adequate preparation, physical fitness and sound decision-making on the part of each participant

WHAT IF IT RAINS?

You will most likely get wet. The Original Growler is an all weather race. It poured rain before and during the race in 2009 and last year it rained most of the night prior to the Full Growler. That first lap had it’s moments but the second was sublime. Hartman Rocks rides well when it’s wet, all things considered. Most of the soils are non-clay, decomposed granite. The race organization and/or the BLM may cancel the race do to weather but this hasn’t happened yet! All riders need to be dressed appropriately and prepared for the conditions on race day.

HOW MANY AID STATIONS WILL BE OUT THERE?

There will be well-stocked aid-stations generally at miles 15 and 17 (Skull Pass), 30 (Hartman Rocks base area), 43 and 45 (Skull Pass). Feed zones will be well stocked. We will have Acli-Mate and Honey Stinger product,  as well as water and other food available. No bottles will be handed out so you’ll need to fill your bottles and bladders.

Two other intermediate locations on the course will have Acli-Mate and water, just enough to keep you going.

The Growler Forty running leg will have one aid station at about the half way point through the 7ish mile lap.

You can also take feeds anywhere on the course from anyone at anytime and you never know where locals may decide to put an impromptu aid station/margarita party! As in years past, bacon and ice cold Coco-Cola may be available on course.

WHAT ABOUT TECHNICAL SUPPORT?

There will be basic technical support at the aid-stations including at the Hartman Rocks base area. This will include lube, a few tubes and tires, some tools and floor pump. There most likely will not be a full-service bike shop on course.

WHERE DO I LEAVE MY DROPBAG FOR THE FULL GROWLER?

Full Growler riders will be able to leave a small cooler or duffel bag at a designated spot near the starting line in downtown Gunnison. We will transport your bag to the lap line (Hartman Rocks base area.) These can be filled with whatever you think you might want to have at the half-way point of the race: food, drink, clothing, tubes, tools, etc.) Once you have gone through it and are back on course, we’ll transport it back to town for you. Important: Full-Growler riders: the lap line at the Hartman Rocks base area is always a confusing place. Check it out beforehand if possible. As you finish your first lap, be as aware as you can and pay attention to signage and/or course marshals trying to direct you to: the drop-bag location; the crew-feeding area; the neutral aid-station; or through the timing line to head out for your second lap

WHAT IS THE CUTOFF TIME FOR THE SECOND LAP OF THE FULL GROWLER?

NOON is the strictly enforced cutoff time to head out on the second lap for Full Growler riders.

THE FINISH—AM I DONE YET?

Ideally, we’ll be racing back to downtown in 2015. This is, however, contingent on getting permission for the route. We finished the Half Growler in town in 2014 and it made for a more cohesive finale and more festive atmoshphere. There’s nothing like cheering on your buddies as they cross the finish line and join you at the post race party. Finishing back in town will add about three miles to the end of your ride. In the event we don’t finish in town, as in years past, your time will be set in stone at the base area of Hartman Rocks but, by rule, you’ll still need to ride back and cross the symbolic finish line in downtown Gunnison.

WHERE IS THE AFTER-PARTY AND AWARDS?

Once you’re done and back in downtown at the finish line, you’ll be smack-dab in the middle of the Growler after party. We have food and beverages (please drink responsibly) for you and eventually, we’ll do awards. We suggest that you put your bike away securely (you might want to bring a lock for peace of mind or get it back to where you are staying or on or in your car), clean up as you like and kick back and enjoy the post-race glow and feeling of dead legs.

  • Half-Growler Party on Saturday begins around 1pm with Awards around 3pm.
  • Full-Growler, Sunday’s Growler and Growler Forty party on Sunday begins around 1pm with Awards around 5pm.
WHAT IF I DECIDE I DON'T WANT TO RACE?

THERE WILL BE NO REFUNDS AFTER APRIL 30TH. Once you are registered and April 30th has passed, you have contributed your entry fee to Gunnison Trails. Whether you race or not, your money is put to work on the trails and 100% of revenue from the Growler goes Gunnison Trails and Gunnison Trails does nothing but trail advocacy. We allow transfers for a $25 fee. Entry holders are responsible for finding another rider to transfer their entry to and settling up on the money. The person gaining the entry will register online and pay the $25 transfer fee only.

ETCETERA...

Categories are Mens and Ladies: Pro Open; Under 20; 20-29; 30-39 women; 30-34 men; 35-39 men; 40-49 women; 40-44 men; 45-49 men; 50-59; 60+; Open Singlespeed; and Collegiate

Gunnison Trails holds some starting positions for sponsors, partners and race organization discretion.

OTHER HAPPENINGS AT HARTMAN’S ROCKS THE WEEKEND BEFORE:

  • The Sage Burner Trail Running Race usually takes place the weekend prior to the Growler. Check out their website for details.